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Citizens’ involvement in emergency preparedness and response: A comparative analysis of media strategies and online presence in Turkey, Italy and Germany

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This article reviews the role that citizens may play as first responders by comparing how various communication media are utilized by response organizations and government agencies to train and network with citizens. In addition, it aims to investigate the nature of the communication strategies and approaches that are utilized by organizations reaching out to volunteers. In order to accomplish this goal, we engaged in an analysis of citizen awareness programmes and volunteer training processes in three different countries: Turkey, Italy and Germany. Across the analysed countries, we observed inconsistencies in the extent and types of utilization of social media, including the fact that the dominant approach is still communicating to citizens rather than communicating with citizens. Finally, the comparative analysis points out the inconsistent accessibility or availability of training materials online, and particularly in social media platforms. This may reduce the likelihood that a large portion of the population, mostly of younger age, will have the opportunity to stay informed on important emergency preparedness topics.
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Keywords: citizen training; crisis management; emergency preparedness; emergency response; response organizations; social media

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Maltepe University 2: Koç University

Publication date: 01 July 2015

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